Brooklyn Nets GM Says Team Has Not Decided On Coach Amid Ime Udoka Hiring Rumors

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said on Tuesday that the team has not decided on a new head coach, despite rumors swirling that Ime Udoka was expected to fill the role.

When asked at a news conference on Tuesday whether the team has determined who its next head coach will be, Marks said, “Absolutely not,” according to a clip of the news conference published by Bleacher Report.

The general manager then sidestepped a question about Udoka’s standing as a potential candidate for the job.

“I really don’t think it’s up to me right now to give a list of candidates who we’re talking to,” he said, later adding that he didn’t have a timeline for when the team’s decision would be made.

Udoka, who was suspended as the Boston Celtics head coach in September, was said to be the front-runner for the head coach job with the Nets, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.

He was expected to reach a formal agreement with the team as early as Wednesday, ESPN reported, citing unnamed sources.

The Brooklyn Nets have not immediately responded to a request for comment.

News surrounding Udoka’s potential hiring emerged shortly after the Nets announced Tuesday that they had parted ways with their head coach, Hall of Famer Steve Nash, who was hired in 2020.

Prior to joining the Celtics organization in June 2021, Udoka had served as the assistant coach for the Nets under Nash for the 2020-21 season and an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs for seven seasons. He joined the Philadelphia 76ers as assistant coach in 2019 for one season.

The Celtics suspended Udoka in September after a months-long investigation by an independent law firm found he violated multiple team policies. His suspension sparked a media frenzy at the time, with several publications, citing unnamed sources, reporting that he was facing discipline for engaging in an improper relationship with a member of the organization.

Udoka has been in a long-term relationship with actor Nia Long, who gained wide support from fans online after news of the scandal broke.

The Nets, who have a 2-5 record for the start of the season, have recently been embroiled in controversy.

Guard Kyrie Irving has faced backlash for recently tweeting a link to a film criticized as antisemitic.

“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” Nets owner Joe Tsai tweeted on Friday. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.”